Stuffed grape leaf (dolmeh2)

When I was growing up in Shiraz, we had a house on Hedayat Street with several fruit trees in its backyard. Most vividly, I remember our grapevine.

My mother planted it at a cozy corner as soon as we purchased the house and in a couple of years it grew into a tall, wide tent of green grapes, providing Mom the supplies to cook stuffed grape leaves (dolmeh barg-e mo) at least twice a year. She did it once in spring when the grape leaves were so small and tender she had to stack two leaves to cover the cracks and wrap one tiny dolmeh – the way she shaped them in squares, rather than rolling them up like cigar. Before the end of the season in late summer, she also picked another round of leaves for freshly made dolmeh. Read the rest of this entry »


Stuffed vegetables (dolmeh1)

Basically, any vegetable that can be filled (eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, onions) or can be wrapped (grape leaf, cabbage) with specific filling makes the gorgeous looking and savory dolmeh. This dish is not specific to Iran, but Iranians have their own ways of preparing it.

The filling for all types of dolmeh is the same and the preparation methods are quite similar. The cooking time for different vegetables is different though. The point is that once you prepare the filling, it is a good idea to make plenty of it and make a little bit of extra effort to use a diverse set of vegetables. The result will be quite impressive I assure you 🙂

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »


Kookoo Sabzi, herbed omelette

This is the first method I make this dish (second and third will followw in the following months)

Ingredients: Parsley and scallions, chopped (1 big bunch each); cilantro and dill, chopped (1/2 bunch, each); fenugreek, dry or chopped (1 tablespoon); lettuce, chopped (two leave), eggs (5-6); red onion, thinly sliced (1 medium); cooking oil, turmeric, salt and black pepper. Read the rest of this entry »


Kookoo with potato

This is a fast and easy Iranian dish great for supper – at the table, or “for the road”. All my non-Iranian friends love this “Persian pancake”, as they call it. Normally it is made mainly with potatoes, and eggs, but I do add one or two other ingredients.

For six relatively hungry people, you would need the following:

  • 1 kg regular potatoes;
  • 4 eggs;
  • 1 small onion;
  • 1/2 cup milk;
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley and chives;
  • pinch of turmeric; salt, powdered black pepper (desired amount),
  • and a lot of cooking oil.

NOTE: Some use baking powder to make koo koo tender. I think it adds an unpleasant taste and elastic feel to it though! Milk and onion (or even onion alone) does a wonderful job making it tender and crunchy. Herbs, however, could easily be skipped without damaging the result. It is just a matter of taste and innovation! Read the rest of this entry »


Samosa

Samosa is popular snack in many Iranian cities too, (just as it is in central and south Asia, many African and all Middle eastern countries) In Iran, sambooseh is reputed to be best prepared by Abadanis.  Samosa is also largely a savoury “street food” – one you would buy in specialized restaurants or off a kiosk or even push card. I make it at home, and it actually turns great! I took lots of pictures of the process, so you can probably figure out how it is done, just by looking at them.

First off, I make this with “lavash” flat bread, which could be bought in most middle eastern grocery stores in North America as far as I know.  A pack of this bread contains three large pieces and each piece would give you 15-20 samosa.

The first and most important step is cutting the bread in proper shape and size. Take a bread and just as it is folded, cut in four horizontal parts. That will give you four long strips to start working on. Cut each strips in equal sized parallel-gram pieces. These will be your samosa shelves. Fold each soft shell the way shown in the picture and fill each three-quarter half full with the filling. Oh… the filling… right

You need: one medium sized onion chopped and sauté with 2 t.s. of turmeric and 1 t.s. of powdered black pepper. 250 gr. ground beef, added to the fried onion and further fried till light brown. Three large potatoes boiled and chopped with some salt. One bunch of parsley, chopped.  Mix everything in a large bowl. This is your filling

Now, all you need to do is fill the shells one by one, close them with their top parts, and put thre or four at the time in a pan already containing hot vegetable oil. It will take one to two minute for each side of the samosa to turn crispy golden. Remove them from pan and put them in paper towel to extract the excess oil. Never put warm samosas on top of each other

Samosa is always taken with a very hot sauce. How hot, depends on your taste when you are making it at home. I mix tomato paste, Tabasco, salt and pinch of powdered red pepper, and mustard.  Time makes it hotter, mind you! And Bon appétit